The latest exhibition at the Wits Arts Museum ‘Activate/Captivate’ is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. It utilises technology, digital art, music and social media to bring an exciting collection to the public.
The unique WAM university collection of African art has inspired creativity, learning and innovation. It has seen students from various departments, academics, and artists figure out innovative and creative ways of “activating” the works in the WAM collection.
This exhibition will reveal the success of collections-based learning in universities and the unique opportunities provided through implementing such projects using the WAM collection.
Take for example Dumile Feni’s 157-metre long scroll, “You wouldn’t know God if he spat in your eye”. This incredible artwork is being displayed using an interactive digital installation, created by lecturer and interactive artist Tegan Bristow and the Wits Digital Arts postgraduate students.
The interactive installation will allow visitors to experience this work in a new and exciting way. The display will be accompanied by a musical score written especially for Activate/Captivate by Wits Music Department post-graduate student Yonela Mnana. Mnana, who is blind, is currently working toward his Masters in Music and teaches music on a part-time basis.
Similarly, Wits School of Arts printmaking students have created prints inspired by the work of Bongi Dhlomo, William Kentridge and Robert Hodgins. Visitors to the exhibition will also have the exciting opportunity to observe the creative process in action as contemporary artist Nolan Dennis Oswald will create a ‘live’ mural inspired by the museum’s archive, during the run of the exhibition.
Activate/Captivate also explores how, over the years, the artworks in WAM’s collection have inspired the art-making of many contemporary South African artists, such as Walter Oltmann, Deborah Bell, and Yael Feldman.
Collaborative work with the Wits Music School, Wits Digital Art Department, Wits Fine Art Department, University of Johannesburg Graphic Design Department, South African artists, all form part of this rich and exciting exhibition. The exhibition is accompanied by a peer reviewed catalogue.
With special thanks to the Andrew Mellon Foundation.
The opening event takes place on Tuesday, 20 October 2015, and will also see Mnana perform live. It starts at 18h00 for 18h30.
Wits Art Museum is situated on the corner of Bertha (ext of Jan Smuts Ave.) and Jorissen streets, Braamfontein, Johannesburg. Special parking is available for the opening only. Entrance left off Jorissen Street. Just after Station Street intersection (directly after the bus stop on the left).The exhibition ends on 6 February 2016.
Wits Art Museum is open Wednesdays to Sundays: 10h00 – 16h00.
There will be a “Talkabout” on 24 October at 12h00, “Drop in Drawing” on 14 November at 12h00 and a Family Talkabout on 21 November at 12h00.